Tips From a PGA Caddy

On a recent American Airlines flight, I was reading an article about PGA Tour caddy John Wood, and I thought a few of his tips were relevant for business, as well as our golf game:

1. If you’re trying to lower your scores, you have to work on the short game. What is our short game? I tend to think these relate to the details of our business. Our follow-through, our precision to excellence, and seeing an engagement through until the metaphoric ball is in the hole. It is not enough to have a powerful, strong drive; we have to pay attention to those details as we near the hole – that is how we will improve our overall game scores.

2. Have a game plan for practice. We need to honestly critique our game and work on our weak points. Solicit feedback and focus on how we can improve. Practice does not make perfect – perfect practice makes perfect. So, we need to create an approach on how to up our game – before we hit the course.

3. Out on the course, work around your weaknesses. On the golf course, if you are not a good wedge player, find a way to get to the hole that avoids wedge shots. Emphasize your strengths. The same is true in business. Augment your skills with others that have strengths in areas where you are not as skilled or talented. Focus on where you are strong – build on these!

4. Avoid the big numbers. John says that “If you get into trouble, get out of trouble – not into more trouble.” In the business world, this is simply failing fast, cutting your losses, and not dwelling on sunk costs. Just move forward – quickly and with focused discipline.

Each of these tips on how to play like a pro golfer are easy to offer, but hard to do! Guess that is why there is only one Tiger Woods; yet there are still plenty of strong golfers in the world.

3 responses to “Tips From a PGA Caddy

  1. Great tips on golf and business! Another resource for great golf tips that are also tips for business and life is a book called “Seven Days in Utopia”. Let me know what you think.

  2. I really like #2 which talks about the solicitation of feedback. As you know I talked about this in my book as well. You won’t get accurate feedback if you surround yourself with yes-men (and women). They’ll tell you what they think you want to hear to keep their job.

    If we ever get to the point where we realize we don’t have all the answers, we quickly learn the value of having timely, accurate, (bitter-tasting) feedback that will get us back on course.

    Great stuff, Kristin.

    Leander Jackie Grogan

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